Literary Device: Metaphor

Literary Device: Metaphor
Like a simile, a metaphor is a form of figurative language that
makes a comparison between two different things. Unlike a
simile, it does NOT use the connective words “like” or “as” to
make this comparison.
Example: The sky flowed out over the earth, a large, blue
Robert Frost
Where had I heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
What would it take my standing there for,
Holding open a restive door,
Looking down hill to a frothy shore?
Summer was past and the day was past.
Sombre clouds in the west were massed.
Out on the porch's sagging floor,
Leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
Blindly struck at my knee and missed.
Something sinister in the tone
Told me my secret must be known:
Word I was in the house alone
Somehow must have gotten abroad,
Word I was in my life alone,
Word I had no one left but God.
“Bereft” – Author’s Purpose
• What is the overall tone of the poem? What is the
major emotion expressed within this poem?
(Hint: What is the meaning of the word bereft?)
The word “bereft” describes suffering from the death of a
loved one. The overall tone of the poem could be described
as desolate, paranoid, and grieving. The major emotions
encompass grief, loneliness, fear, and destitution.
“Bereft” – Author’s Purpose
• What elements of
the setting and/or
provided details
concerning the
situation heighten
this major emotion
or tone within the
The deep,
The frothy,
The restive The sagging
door, held
open by the floor…
Everyone is
clouds in
aware the
the west
speaker is
“Bereft” – Author’s Purpose
• What two things are being compared within this
poem through the use of a metaphor?
(Hint: Examine the description of the leaves.)
The leaves
______ are compared to a snake
_____ through the
use of the words ______
“coil” and ________.
• How does this sneaky metaphor directly enhance
the meaning and tone of the poem already
established through setting details and the title of
the poem itself?
Like a striking snake, this hidden metaphor heightens the
threatening sense of landscape and oppressive tone of
the poem - underscoring the unsettling nature of grief.
Answer the essay question below:
• In Robert Frost’s “Bereft”, the poet
examines the emotionally threatening
nature of grief. Using relevant direct
text evidence and insightful
commentary, write a well-organized
response examining how the author
uses both details and metaphor to
heighten the poem’s tonal impact.
Red – Major Writing Task
Blue – Minor Insights/Instructions
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